The FA Cup may not be prestigious as it once was but it represents the most realistic chance that Pep Guardiola and Manchester City can finish the season with a trophy. However, they have to overcome Huddersfield Town in an FA Cup replay tonight to continue their participation in the competition. Here’s my guide to the game complete with FA Cup tips, predictions and analysis.
Manchester City FA Cup Tips and analysis
Pep Guardiola is no stranger to cup competitions; after all, he won the Copa del Rey while at Barcelona and the DFB Pokal with Bayern Munich. I think he will understand that despite the FA Cup being devalued compared to times gone by, Manchester City need to progress in this competition – especially with Chelsea running away with the Premier League title. Guardiola has never lost a cup tie to lower league opposition in his career – which surely makes them FA Cup tips to proceed.
As always with cup competitions, I think that the question has to be how far will he rotate his team. The fixtures are starting to pile up, with trips to Sunderland in the league and Monaco in the Champions League sandwiching home games against Stoke and Liverpool in the next couple of weeks – not to mention the game against Middlesbrough in the next round if they get past this one.
Vincent Kompany is not quite ready to return from injury and there is a question over who will be in goal with Willy Caballero having played well when deputising for Claudio Bravo. I think there will be other changes too with fringe players being given a chance to impress for the weeks ahead.
Huddersfield Town FA Cup Tips and analysis
The Terriers will be without two of their most important men for this fixture for varying reasons. Manager David Wagner is suspended having been involved in a touchline altercation with Leeds manager Garry Monk in their Championship fixture, while influential midfielder Aaron Mooy will also miss out as he cannot face his parent club.
With Kasey Palmer and Jonathan Hogg both out for Huddersfield Town it could give a chance for Jack Payne to feature. The 22-year-old scored twice in the third round win over Port Vale and he will be hungry to test himself against superior opposition.
ProTipster FA Cup Tips
Neither Huddersfield nor Man City have conceded a goal in this year’s FA Cup – something that will have to change in this game. Man City have got a weak defence – Monaco proved this in the Champions League – but I think they’ll be much tighter against Huddersfield.
Backing Man City doesn’t offer value – even with the handicap market – but I think there is value in looking at goals. I think this will be a tight affair – and under 3.5 goals at 1.93 looks like a steal to me.
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